Geese and ducks are frequent guests at Springfield Township parks, especially James A. Cisco Park’s Hillcrest Pond. While feeding the ducks and geese is often considered a harmless pastime, it can actually have serious consequences for the animals and the environment.
Township Code Section 59-4C prohibits feeding wildlife, and for good reason. Feeding ducks and geese makes them lose interest in foods in their natural diet, such as insects, plants, crustaceans, acorns, etc. Bread is particularly bad for birds, as it has no nutritional value. Essentially, bread is junk food for birds, and can lead to developmental concerns such as unnaturally fast growth and stress.
Additionally, feeding the waterfowl increases the volume of birds at the parks, which results in overcrowding and an increased risk of disease. This in turn leads to habitat degradation, water pollution, and algae blooms. An unwanted consequence to feeding wildlife is attracting pests such as rodents, raccoons, skunks and even foxes. While feeding the geese and ducks at the park seems harmless, it actually is best to skip the bread and stop feeding waterfowl entirely!